Thursday, March 31, 2005


My worth on the market

I am worth $1,739,460.00 on



Right tramples states' rights

Fie, the hypocrites! By Jim Abrams of The Associated Press, via The Guardian:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans who swear by the principle of states' rights are having to make some exceptions when it comes to saving Terri Schiavo, or reining in trial lawyers, protecting the sanctity of marriage and advancing the party's other priorities.


Schiavo, RIP; Unscripted Irony

From a friend:

I just realized an irony on that Terri Shiavo case that I haven't seen anything written about. She was apparently starving herself when she collapsed back in 1990 or whenever she had the heart-attack. That apparently was the end-time of her rational thinking ability, because her heart stopped long enough to do permanent brain damage. So, she's dying by being "starved." Hmmmm. Was she not dying back then, too? By starvation? Wasn't her natural mechanism kicking in to end it all – ie, heart attack??

This is just a very real, unscripted irony.

May Terri Schiavo, finally, rest in peace.


Wednesday, March 30, 2005


This is your brain; this is your brain on a blog

On the effects of blogging on the brain.

This is why I feel so dadgum smart lately! :-)



Political compass

Economic Left/Right: -4.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.23

In other words, firmly left of center on economics, and very slightly leaning more toward libertarian than authoritarian.

I have taken the test several times over several years and I have always fallen in the same place. Check it out.

Where do you stand?



Plagiarist caught, vilified

Check this out. Justice is served. Thanks to thw witty and passionate Bitch, Ph.D for posting the link.



On "two-winged" Americans

George McGovern on patriotism:

Old-fashioned American liberals such as I are accused not only of being weak on defense but also weak on marriage and the family, the work ethic and reverence for religious faith. I resent such groundless political slurs.

Read his entire article, from The Nation via CBS.



Another step toward tyranny

Before the Oklahoma City Planning Commission:

Ordinance set for public hearing on April 14 amending Section 59-6400.2.A. (2)(c) 4.g of Article VI of Chapter 59 of the Oklahoma City Municipal Code, 2002, by prohibiting pickup truck campers or camper shells not attached to a vehicle from the front yard.

If a redneck cain't get a break in Oklahoma, then we are safe from discrimination NOWHERE.



Tuesday, March 29, 2005


"The Bottle Tells Me So"

Pre-marryin'-Dr.-ER doggerel of mine. The tune is roughly "Jesus Loves Me," but more bluesy and waltzy. This might make a song in the right hands. There's another verse, but I can't remember it at the moment.

Jesus loves me, I suppose
But liquor shows me where to go
Since she left me all alone
Oh Jesus, whiskey’s all I know

Yes, Jesus loves me
But why’d she have to leave me?
Someday she’ll be sorry
The bottle tells me so

Little ones to us belong
They hurt so much but did no wrong
Lord, I’m so weak, this liquor’s strong
Sweet Jesus, whiskey’s all I know

Yes, Jesus loves me
But why’d she have to leave me?
Someday she’ll be sorry
The bottle tells me so

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.


Calf rope! @#$&&*^ Blogger!

OK. I give. Posting and commenting is taking more blood pressure than I can afford. I'm gone in hopes that it will work itself out.

And, I confess it might be this rickety ol' computer. Whatever.

I'm fighting garden-variety melancholia bordering on clinical depression for some reason, and this difficulty ain't helping. So, assuming this post flies, see you'ns later.


Sunday, March 27, 2005


Nothing but the Blood

By The Erudite Redneck

Happy Easter, y'all -- with ALL that is holy that that implies (plus a handful of Peeps and some chocolate bunny ears!)

I went through a short period where I was embarrassed by the common references to "the Blood of Christ" that some of us grew up with.

Not ashamed of the Gospel, mind you -- I just got hung up on the idea that to one who was NOT raised to sing gladly about something as, well, gross as blood, it sounded pretty extreme.

Think about it. If you didn't have, at the ready, the full complement of assumptions, context and understanding that comes with the simple yet profound phrase "the blood of Jesus," what would you think?*

You might think the same thing I at first felt when I, and the rest of the West, saw the thousands Sunnis or Shias or whichever religious flagellants in Iraq on TV after the fall of Saddam.

That seemed extreme to me. But then, the notion of a good man being executed for the sins of the world, whose death is commemorated in pageant and song and, seems pretty extreme to those without ears to hear (bunny or otherwise).

Today is the real day upon which my tattered, worn faith is based. Today. Not Christmas and the baby Jesus. But today, Easter, and the Risen Savior, without which nothing -- nothing -- else matters.

I am estranged from the church of my raising. I am not estranged from the God of my salvation. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Jesus saves, the same yesterday, today and forever.

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.


*And if you don't know what all this refers to, then look it up. My days of beating people over the head with the Gospel ended about 20 years ago. You either want to know or you don't, and that ain't up to me. It's up to your own self. God ain't hiding.


96-word Erudite Redneck book reviewlet -- "Demanding the Cherokee Nation," by Andrew Denson

Excerpts from a review I just finished for the state historical quarterly. Excellent work. It's an example of what I consider the proper use of historical persuasive writing.


DEMANDING THE CHEROKEE NATION: INDIAN AUTONOMY AND AMERICAN CULTURE, 1830-1900. By Andrew Denson (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2004. Pp. 327. Notes. Bibliography. Index. $55 cloth).

... takes Indians at their word, adding much to the short historiography of native intellectual history. ... Argument: Elite Cherokees, through memorials, pamphlets, the Cherokee Advocate and other documents, consistently demanded nationhood even as their weak relationship with Americans roiled.

... Missing is an appendix of some writings to let the Cherokees speak fully for themselves, probably the publisher’s call, not the author’s. ...

... philosophical history ... illumines dreams, for which these kinds of writings are most useful, not “facts,” for which they are not. ... as intellectual history, is cohesive because it follows a main idea – the Cherokees’, not the author’s.


Saturday, March 26, 2005


U.S. on the road to Damascus?

Fascinating thoughts, including the comments, from Syrian author Ammar Abdulhamid.

While over here we are back to staring at our belly buttons, "over there" they realize President Bush has drawn a bead on what he, and many others, consider tyrants and dictators that are a threat to us and our interests.

No doubt that they are tyrants and dictators. But are they all a threat to us and our interests?

Y'all'ses' thoughts?


(For obvious cultural reasons, I particularly like the comments of Ed in Dallas.)

Friday, March 25, 2005


See? B.S.!

CBS announcers kept saying, during the OSU-Arizona Sweet Sixteen matchup last night, that it was Coach Eddie Sutton's last game. And they kept calling Sean Sutton, his son, "associate coach."

Mr. Sutton has NOT said he is retiring. In fact, in yesterday's paper, he said he was NOT retiring because "I still like to coach." And the younger Mr. Sutton's official title is "head coach designate."

Now, nobody would blame Mr. Sutton the elder if he did decide to ride off in the the sunset. But let's not rush it, See?-B.S.!

What. A. Game. Wildcats 79, Cowboys 78.

Joey Graham finally showed up. The rest of the guys played their butts off. Vanquished, they were, by a worthy foe.

Now, for the rest of the tourney: GO WILDCATS!

Meanwhile, other kinds of Pokes have other chickens to fry: On the diamond, OSU will be playin' a series at home agin' the Babtists from Waco this weekend. GO POKES!


Thursday, March 24, 2005



Uh oh. Did The Washington Post get its biased cart before its journalism horse? Who the hell knows?

The only journalist I know who for a fact always tries to be fair and objective is -- me.




Cowboys vs Wildcats, CBS tonight!

There's a joint that has 80-cent draws during OSU games on TV not far from the house. I b'lieve I might have to hang there this evenin' for about $4.80 worth. ;-)




My Final Four picks

Oklahoma State.
Texas Tech.
North Carolina.

(although I'm thinkin' with my want-to on the first two)

Oklahoma State!



It is called CON-gress

Sorry, but I am still so hacked off I can't stand it. If you don't like it, stay away.

From the Tampa Tribune:

WASHINGTON - The urgency in Washington last weekend wasn't just about Terri Schiavo. It also was about politics.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Making too much of the Bible

I love this guy.

Edward Fudge
Mar 13, 2005

After reading about my book, Beyond the Sacred Page (now revised as The Sound of His Voice), a dear lady in Arkansas responded: "Please remove my name from gracEmail. I find that you are in opposition to God's Word. There is nothing 'Beyond the Sacred Page' -- only man's ideas and opinions! I study, read, believe God's Word, nothing beyond."

* * *

It is one thing to say -- as I do -- that Scripture is the final test of all spiritual teaching and the canon ("rule") for measuring all messages which purport to come from God. It is quite another matter to say that the Bible is an end within itself, or the ultimate object of our allegiance and devotion. Unfortunately, that is the result fostered by an uncritical sort of fundamentalism which confuses the record for the reality and mistakes the book for its author. This good sister has been misled by a peculiar teaching of some in her church background who, having read that "the sword of the Spirit" is the word of God (Eph. 6:17), erroneously concluded that the Holy Spirit is the Bible itself.

Jesus affirmed the integrity and authority of the Jewish Scriptures (Matt 5:17-19). He did not tolerate those who hijacked its precepts for their own purposes and who plundered its contents to their own ends (Matt. 12:1-8). But he also made plain that all the Scriptures pointed to him, God's Messiah (Lk. 24:27, 45-47). On one occasion at least he went head-to-head with some whose noses were stuck so deep in the holy book they failed to recognize him (John 5:39-40). The Scriptures point to Jesus, and Jesus points to God (John 17:1-3).

God speaks to us in the Bible -- and part of what he tells us there is that he also communicates with people in many other ways. He speaks through burning bushes and through talking donkeys, through day visions and night dreams, through nature and through conscience, through wisdom and reason, through thunderous storms and soft still breezes, through oracles and through prophecies. Nothing he has ever said in any of those ways contradicts his written word of Scripture. And no Scripture -- rightly understood -- ever contradicts God's supreme revelation through the life and teaching of the Word-made-flesh, the man Jesus Christ. Our relationship is not with pages on a book. It is with the personal God who came among us in Jesus of Nazareth, and, since Pentecost, in the Spirit of the Risen Christ.

© 2005 by Edward Fudge. Unlimited permission to copy without altering text or profiteering is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice. For encouragement and spiritual food any time, visit our multimedia website at



Roll call on Schiavo, con leche

Thanks to braingirl at Hoosiers Ate My Brain for posting a link to the roll call vote in Congress on mooving the Schiavo case into federal court.

This is meant as a favor to both sides.

My congressman voted for, but the congressman in my historical district -- my home district -- voted against. Neither surprised me.


P.S. Somebody this morning accused me of "milking" this. All I can say is 1., Do what? It's the biggest news going right now. And, 2., my family did used to be in the dairy bidness, so maybe it's in my genes.


Know-it-All Congress (Ad Hoc)

Poor Terri Schiavo. Poor family. Poor all of us, for getting dragged into it.

It really should come as no surprise. Remember the Know-Nothing Congress? Call this one the Know-it-All Congress (Ad Hoc ) (see second definition). And an Ad Hoc presidency. If it feels good, do it, to dust off the old '70s phrase.

Read this, and tell me whether it sounds anything like this country now. John Quincy Adams, as Secretary of State, said it in a speech on July 4, 1821. Would that the lions of our heritage were alive today!

The issues are related in this way: Still staggering from the blows of 9/11, we continue to blindly swing at unseen enemies from without and over-react to every thing that goes bump in the night in our own house -- and oddly, with an underlying sense of hubris.

“America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her own example. She well knows that by once enlisting under banners other than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, ambition, which assumed the colors and usurped the standards of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. … She might become the dictatress of the world. She would no longer be the ruler of her own spirit.”*

Truly, we are no longer the ruler of our own spirit.


*Quoted in Anonymous, Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror, (Dulles, Va.: Brassey's Inc., 2004), 200.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Okie House weighs in on Schiavo!

The Associated Press reports:
The Oklahoma House took up the case of a severely brain-damaged Florida woman Tuesday, urging a federal appellate court to order Terry Schiavo's feeding tube reinserted and defend "the culture of life in the United States."

Note to out-of-touch Oklahomans and any furriners who stumble by:

Republicans have gained control of the Oklahoma House of Representatives for the first time since 1922. To say they are giddy with power is an understatement. They are plumb drunk on it.



Citizen's arrest! Citizen's arrest!

Citizen’s Arrest of Schiavo Judge Planned
Former Green Beret Commander Bo Gritz is charging-in once again.




Back and forth on Schiavo

By The Erudite Redneck

A good friend of mine is something like a field lieutenant for the Religious Right.

What I mean is, he is in a place of intellectual responsibility for a well-recognized organization that is a bastion of the RR. He and I went round and round with a coupla e-mails about Terri Schiavo yesterday.

It's just a snippet. Worth repeating though. Subject line: Ruefully
Congress, and the country as a whole, will rue the day Congress involved itself in this tragedy in Florida. In ways that none of us can fathom, this will so come back and bite everybody it will astound. The only hope is the Lord Himself grows her a new cerebral cortex and damn quick. Maybe she'll be up and walking by Easter., If not, then this is the most morbid political theater I have ever seen.

Field lieutenant:
You know, though, that she is not terminally ill or on "life support." She is just disabled. I don't know how we can rue the day that the federal government steps in to stop a woman whose quality of life isn't good enough for some people from being starved to death. The federal government steps in all the time when there's a hint that someone has been wrongly charged with a crime -- presidential pardons. Why can't it move to prevent someone from beind denied the most basic right guaranteed by the Constitution -- life?

Because it wasn't the president. It was Congress. And hey, "the pursuit of happiness" is mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, along with "life" -- not the Constitution. I need some help paying my bills, Congress. Can you cut me a check? It would enhance my pursuit of happiness. Hell, why don't y'all just pay off my truck and buy me a pool table? The moral issue, of course, if vastly more profound. The level of meddling, though, is exactly the same.

Field lieutenant:
Days like this probably make you mad you're writing (at least tangentially) about [my newspaper beat], eh?

Maybe I'll blog about it.



Schiavo and the Ultimate Judge

Friend Trixie has a simmered-down and compassionate take on Terri Schiavo.



New colonies?

If the Founding Fathers were alive today, they would leave the continent, find some new Indian tribes to conquer and START OVER.



Schiavo = "great political issue"

From the Boston Globe:

ABC News and The Washington Post reported that a memo distributed to senators by Republican leaders over the weekend called the Schiavo case a ''great political issue," adding that ''the prolife base will be excited" by the debate. The memo also noted the vulnerability of Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat who refused to support the effort to save Terri. ...

... They say they are doing God's work, but should consider that it is man's machinery that has prolonged this sad shell of a human being. All religions teach that there is a time to let go.


P.S. In light of TECH's new post on copyright, let me mention that I think this is "fair use." It's a snippet of a longer piece, attributed, with links to the original.

Monday, March 21, 2005


Live and let die

God bless Terri Schiavo.

Damn Congress for dragging me into it. That's what Congress did, my own representatives who jumped on this macabre bandwagon anyway, in its infinite "wisdom."

Let's pray that God grows her a new cerebral cortex this week. Maybe she can be up and walking around by Easter. Maybe ON Easter. That'd be a nice touch. Maybe Sen. Tom "Rooster" Coburn, SR-Oklahoma, can start working on that legislation now.

Brain dead is dead.

Sorry, I am just appalled that Congress has done what it has done. The fact is some things are more important than preserving one so-called "life," namely the integrity of the rule of law, respect for separation of powers and an independent judiciary.

Next time someone brings up universal health care, let's make it clear that we don't mean one person at a time.

Go here or click the link above for even more bitterness, but laced with humor:

Sunday, March 20, 2005


Killing babies, writing backward

By the Erudite Redneck

Lost in my usual Sunday melancholy – which persisted even though my beloved Pokes made it to the Sweet Sixteen, even though my beloved Redheaded Redneck Stepchild (Bird) was here to watch it with me, even though the Pokes kicked historical ASS at the NCAA wrestling tournament, and even though the Pokes won two out of three this weekend in Stillwater against K-State in Big 12 baseball – I forgot the most important rule of writing:

“Shut up and write.”

Don’t feel like writing? Tough. Write anyway. Just string words together. If there is any sign of life in your head, and you’re a writer of any talent or ability, it will make sense. Won’t be perfect maybe. But it will make sense.

Hard to believe I forgot. It’s a sign of the kind of journalism I do these days, which is usually not the holy-shit-drop-everything-and-report-and-write variety. No. It’s the kind of journalism that really, seriously, doesn’t have to be done at all.

In journalism, whether you FEEL like writing has nothing to do with the fact that you write. You write because you write for a living -- in the same way that a factory worker factory works because he works in a factory for living. Show up, shut up and write, or stay home sick.

Strange, the power of ideas, especially once you get a few words rambling around in your head. Very powerful.

The flash that one does not have to FEEL like writing to write was powerful enough to keep me walkin’ past the TV just now in the other room, even though I got a glimpse of a bikini-clad coed ridin’ a buckin’ machine on a beach. It’s that shark-attacks-spring breakers movie, I guess. I wanted to see it, because it looked so campy. Now I want to pound on this keyboard more.

So, here I am, stringin’ some words together because, truth be told, it just makes me feel better – especially after I just killed so many of my babies.

Killin’ babies. I don’t know what you call it, but that’s what I call it when I have to cut some piece of writing to fit some editor’s request or demand.

It’s different from editing. It’s different from whittling, say, a 1,000-word piece down to 950 words, which happens all the time in the newspaper bidness, although we usually refer to column inches, not words.

But tonight I finally actually printed off a paper I did a year ago, submitted to a prestigious scholarly journal – oh, what the hell, to the Western Historical Quarterly – and had rejected.

Need to whack 1,000 words from the 7,500-word article, to submit it to another journal. Killing babies.

The Western Historical Quarterly intake editor missed the whole damn point, which happens in academe, I hear, all the time. She actually had the cajones to tell me I needed to pretty much scrap my entire approach and start over, and do it her way. That, too, is not unusual. However, since I’m pretty much doing this for myself, and for posterity, not really for a byline, which are a dime a dozen, no.

Kiss my ER ass. I did it my way, and I’d rather not see it published at all than to kowtow to someone’s whims masquerading as erudition.

If I have a mission in life, as a 20-year veteran of daily newspaper journalism trying to make his way in the world of scholarly historical writing, it’s this:

Some historians should accept newspapers for what they are-were: special voices and reliable vectors of ideas, if not always facts.

That’s probably why historians in general dismiss newspapers as primary sources, even when they sometimes are the only source of synthesis of thought for a certain time and place. They get facts wrong. Granted. But they seldom ever get IDEAS wrong.

Most historians use newspapers as sources to help them tell other tales. My aim is to start with newspapers, to tell tales of ideas, not the usual nuts-and-bolts stuff about where the papers published, how big the sheets were, what kind of press was used and so on.

IDEAS, that’s what gets my juices flowing, both as a journalist and as a budding historian.

That’s the point that the intake editor person missed. Sigh. I could go on, but I won’t. Such is my burden as a journalist-turning-historian.

But hey, the research is sound, the writin’ ain’t bad, and despite what the intake editor said, although it is obliquely about Lt. Gen. George Armstrong Custer and his demise at the hands of the Sioux in 1876, which, of course, has been written plumb to death, the paper I wrote, if you see it for what it is – an assessment of the ideas expressed about Custer and the Northern Plains wars in INDIAN newspapers publishing then in what is now Oklahoma – most certainly has NOT been done to death or I wouldn’ta dood it.

And that sentence is you an example of “Won’t be perfect maybe. But it will make sense.”

So, me and the cat named Mao just sat on the front porch sippin’ shiraz and wielding a pen and killing babies. Well, not killin’ them outright, but issuing them death sentences by the hundreds.

We sentenced them to death in groups of 330, 429, 184, 155, 132 and 130 – which adds up to 1,360. That means some of them babies will get a last-minute reprieve from the governor’s office of my mind.

But the hard part’s done. Soon, me and the cat, with or without some shiraz, will set some of those baby captives free, and take a machete to the rest, so that 6,500 shall live.

Writing – writin’ anything of consequence anyway – ain’t for sissies. And writin’ backwards, which is what I call the kind of baby killin’ I’m up to with this Custer paper, ain’t for the weak of heart.


P.S. Torn! From the front-room TV comes beach music and the sounds of a mechanical bull. From the bedroom TV down the hall comes the sounds of a bad cowboy flick on the Western channel. Oh, wait! That beach gal was wearin’ a cowboy hat. Problem solved.

Friday, March 18, 2005


Blame Blogger, not me!

If I'm away for a day or three at a time, it's because Blogger, increasingly, sucks.

Ate one small post earlier this week. Takes forever in any case. Won't swallow comments like a good kid.

So, my patience being about 0.08 of a nanosecond, I'm just not hanging around when Blogger drags its e-backside. :-)

GO POKES basketball! OSU (barely) put the whup on Southeastern Louisiana this afternoon, and now plays Southern Illinois Sunday afternoon.

GO POKES wrestlers! OSU appears ready to cruise to another NCAA title.

GO POKES baseball! OSU opens Big 12 play this weekend agin' Kansas State in Stillwater. I might try to make the Saturday or Sunday game.


Wednesday, March 16, 2005


D'oh! and stuff

My friend braingirl at Hoosiers Ate My Brain has a neat little piece on "d'oh" and other new words in the dictionary.

Check it out. Braingirl's is a rare literate blog -- although I personally could put my own interest in Michael Jackson right here on top of this period:


She is an expatriate Okie, from the Panhandle, and that background generally informs her ways, so I will let slide her occasional quirks. :-)


Tuesday, March 15, 2005


My Sweet Sixteen

I know one thing about college basketball: GO POKES!

But hey, I like a contest as well as the next fella, and Corndog has one going over at his place.

Here's my entry. If yer so inclined, go on over to Corndog's place and try yer hand at pickin' some winners.

Chicago: Illinois, Boston College, Oklahoma State, Arizona

Albuquerque: Pacific, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Texas Tech

Syracuse: North Carolina, Florida, Connecticut, Kansas

Austin: Duke, Michigan State, Kentucky, Oklahoma



Chocolate gravy, anyone?

So, I was readin' the school lunch menus in my home county paper, and noticed chocolate gravy was on the breakfast menus for half of the country schools.

Dr. ER says she has never heard of such! Mama ER never made it, but a young ER used to have chocolate gravy on biscuits sometimes at school.

This might be a city kid-country kid thing. Below is a recipe, one of several findable on-line.

What about you? Any chocolate gravy in yer life?

Chocolate gravy

1 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine

Mix dry ingredients well and add milk until smooth. Melt margarine in iron skillet. Add mixture and cook until desired consistency.
Serve over biscuits.


Monday, March 14, 2005


Book and language snob

Oh, this is a surprise -- NOT. Thanks to Gem!

You speak eloquently and have seemingly read every
book ever published. You are a fountain of
endless (sometimes useless) knowledge, and
never fail to impress at a party.
What people love: You can answer almost any
question people ask, and have thus been
nicknamed Jeeves.
What people hate: You constantly correct their
grammar and insult their paperbacks.

What Kind of Elitist Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Brush with Greatness----------Chris Ledoux

An occasional series.

This is a sad brush, y'all. Chris Ledoux, singer, songwriter, cowboy, died Wednesday.

In Texas, I did a phone interview with him to advance a concert in Wichita Falls. We talked about rodeoin', cowboyin' and singin' and such. We talked about his ranch in Kaycee, Wyo., and his music publishing company in Nashville.

Somehow or another I wound up talking briefly with his mama, who, I think, was at her house in Nashville.

But the real brush was the one that never actually happened -- and it's a regret of mine to this day. Especially today, the day after Chris Ledoux's cowboy music died.

Back in the '90s, with no Dr. ER or Bird around, when I was in my 20s and runnin' wild, I fancied myself a songwriter. Still do, in fact, just in remission.

Spent days bein' a newspaperman and nights hangin' out with one or two friends, mainly the Ronimal, and drinkin' and pickin' and plunkin' and strummin' on guitars and drinkin' and pennin' lyrics and drinkin' and smokin' ... cigarettes.

At the end of my interview, I told Mr. Ledoux about my humble endeavors, and he invited me to send him a song or two on a tape.

"Where to?" I asked. "Just put my name on it and send it to Kaycee, Wyoming," he said, or something like that.

I never did, and I could not tell you why. None of my songs were rodeo songs, per se -- oh, wait, I do have one about a barrel racer I thought I was gonna marry in college -- but some of them were close enough that he might've considered 'em.

Or, he had Garth Brooks' ear. Who knows what might've been?

An actual true faint, slight, but so potentially great Brush with Greatness.


Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Overheard in Stillwater, OK

Friend 1, standing in a bathroom stall at an OSU baseball game: "Hey, buddy, you need a dip?"

Friend 2, standing at a nearby urinal: "Naw, I'm all right."

Friend 1: "Well, there's some Skoal on this toilet seat."

Several: "Moan."


Grad student, at a table of grad students at Shortcake's Diner: "Hell, he's got a master's degree and three damn bachelor's and he's still ABD ("all but dissertation" on a doctorate).


My beloved Stillwater in two nutshells!

Pokes lost. Now I can go back to cheering for the Razorbacks. Hell, if it wadn't for out-of-state tuition, I'da probably gone there to college. Grew up closer to Fayetteville than Stillwater!

Afterward, me and Bird had intergenerational victuals at Shortcakes. I hung out there in 1984, the year it opened, her mama, Dr. ER, hung out there in the early 1990s while working on her pee aytch dee, and now Bird hangs out there as a freshman.



Hogs at Pokes on diamond

Oooh, this'll be a good 'un. Arkansas's (No. 10) hotter'n Oklahoma State (No. 29) right now, but both are comin' off three wins apiece.

Funny thing. The story mentions pitcher Brae Wright's "off field" injury. Coach Frank Anderson spilled the beans on his radio show last night:

Down in Louisiana over the weekend, the boy was haulin' it out of an all-you-can-eat Chinese joint, thinkin' he was late gettin' back to the team bus. Runnin' right up to said bus, he slipped in some mud and slid his self plumb up under the dang thing, cuttin' his self up pretty bad.

(Sigh. Insert Aggie joke here!)

High of 61? It'll be a little nipply in the shade at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium. That's March baseball.


Sunday, March 06, 2005


NormalA, normalB, normalcy

Ahhhh. Give me a minute. Just enjoying the day.

Bird has been been shopping with Dr. ER all afternoon. Bird got her a new dress for a wedding she'll attend soon (not her own!). I am anxious to see how it goes with the wee bee inked on her ankle.

I knocked out about half that Cherokee book I agreed to review.

I replaced a burned-out brake light on my truck. And I got the truck hoed out for the week.

Each dog got some house time, separately, which is the only way to maintain peace in the house.

Boorrrrriiiinnngggggg, right? Pshaw. Just right.

The redheads even asked me to do the pork tenderloin on the grill, which is rare. It's usually me and my primal need to play with fire and meat that causes a grilling to occur. Nice to be asked.

Got a fair amount of thinking done today, too.

Thought about which scholarly journals might be most likely to run this paper I did last year on how a couple of Choctaw newspapers interpreted the Northern Plains Indian wars and Custer's downfall. I'll whack the 1,500 words that need to be whacked out of it some other day.

Thought about a presentation I am to give on another couple of Choctaw papers and their editorializing on temperance -- and decided to think more about it later.

And I think I'll read those business news stories I'm judging Wednesday night. Dr. ER will be on the road again, I think, and I'll be by my lonesome.

Monday night is out, probably, because I 'spect Monday to be a long work day because I'm runnin' off halfway through Tuesday to go see Oklahoma State play the Razorbacks baseball Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday night's out, then. So Wednesday, it is.

My decisions are due the following Monday, and I think that, among other things, a stump burnin' might get in the way of any thinking over the next weekend. Mama ER's birthday is Friday and a bunch of the extended ER clan is converging on her house.

Bad news out of OSU Aggieland hoops is offset a little bit by good news on the diamond and excellent news on the mat.


(And go Bird! And go Dr. ER! Well, go all of us'ns! I got my whole famn damnly in one place today! Woohoo!)


Saturday, March 05, 2005


Today in history UPDATE

Welp, I got four out of six WILL do's done, and one or two MIGHT do something-else-productives. Got to chasing a rabbit because of my own previous haste.

In writing the history of this certain campus newspaper, I offhandedly remarked that today's news and opinion columns, reflecting students in general, were quieter than during the 1960s and 1970s. Doh! The professor who is writing-compiling the book asked, "Why are students quieter?"

Served me right. So, I spend a large part of the day taking a crash course and working the magic of newsgathering-reporting-historical research-and synthesis and came up with the following, which I added to the first version.

Total length now, revised, is 859 words. Below is just the new stuff. At bottom is a list of all sources used -- minus the newspaper itself -- with the new ones, which I found, read and used today, marked as NEW. Fun stuff!

The new emphasis on news (in 1914) came amid a burst of college journalism education across the country. Joseph Pulitzer’s School of Journalism at Columbia University two years before led other colleges and universities to join the movement to formalize and organize journalism instruction. A National Newspaper Conference at the University of Kansas in 1914 could have influenced educators’ thinking in prairie college towns. The shift from scholarly aspirations to information was complete by mid-century, when the staff declared, quoting Lord Byron: “Without or with offense to friends or foes, we sketch your world exactly as it goes.’ ” The paper aimed to accomplish this while providing a laboratory for students of journalism and the printing arts.

During the Dust Bowl and Depression years, editors flirted with socialism. In a fiery editorial, one writer declared, “Capitalism fears the educated masses!” Editors supported the war effort during World War I, turned pacifist in the early 1930s, then returned to patriotic, although somewhat resigned, editorializing during World War II. Through the late 1940s and 1950s, editors turned even-handed, making sure … columns represented both sides of controversial topics. The paper, when it mentioned race relations, seemed generally in favor of acceptance – except for a single hateful, anti-black editorial in 1910 – and, in the 1950s, seemed friendly toward integration, but rarely sounded alarms for any extreme.

Through the 1950s, the paper’s relationship with local and state authorities usually hinged on seeking funding and support for the college. Later, the paper turned more adversarial. In the 1960s, the paper opposed a governor’s veto of a name change to A Certain University. Editors gave voice to the peace movement during the Vietnam War. ...

The voice of the newspaper, reflecting changes in students’ values, quieted in the 1990s. Burning issues of previous generations of full-time students – the civil rights movement, nuclear testing, war in Vietnam, restrictions on personal freedom – gave way to more mundane concerns. Part-time students viewed colleges as service providers and themselves as consumers of higher education and strove mainly to obtain a degree and a job. Student activism persisted, but the splintering of issues and institutionalization of previously marginal points of view made it less visible on campuses. Further, a certain mainstreaming of formerly outlying voices tended to soften the edges of controversy. ...



NEW. Astin, Alexander W., Helen S. Astin, Alan E. Bayer and Ann S. Bisconti. The Power of Protest: A National Study of Student and Faculty Disruptions with Implications for the Future. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc., 1975.

Carter, L. Edward. The Story of Oklahoma Newspapers, 1844-1984. Muskogee: Western Heritage Books for the Oklahoma Heritage Association, 1984.

Foreman, Carolyn Thomas. Oklahoma Imprints, 1835-1907: A History of Printing in Oklahoma Before Statehood. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1936.

NEW. Karabell, Zachary. What’s College For? The Struggle to Define American Higher Education. New York: Basic Books, 1998.

NEW. Levine, Arthur, and Jeanette S. Cureton. When Hope and Fear Collide: A Portrait of Today’s College Student. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc., 1998.

NEW. Mott, Frank Luther. American Journalism: A History of Newspapers in the United States through 260 Years: 1690 to 1950. New York: The MacMillan Co., 1950.

Government Document:

The Report of the President’s Commission on Campus Unrest. Reprint ed. New York: Arno Press, 1970.

NOT BAD, I reckon, for a day's work, but I underestimated the time it would take. Didn't see that rabbit 'til it took off, and I had to give chase!



Today in history

I WILL finish an article on the history of a certain student newspaper I agreed to write for a history professor who is writing the history of a certain state college!

I WILL read substantial portions of a book on Cherokee history I agreed to review for a certain state historical publication!

I WILL read a stack of business news stories and pass judgement on them, as I agreed to do for a certain state press association!

I WILL think about what props I might need for a presentation on certain narrow aspects of Choctaw and journalism history I agreed to do for a certain state historical society meeting!

I WILL look over materials I've collected for use in writing an article on the history of my home county for a certain state encyclopedia of history and culture!

I WILL put in the mail a copy of a certain historical quarterly with one of my articles in it and send it to a certain local public library, in my hometown, as I agreed to do last December! (How in the heck is it March already?!?)

I MIGHT make time to start chopping another 1,500 words out of an article I submitted to, and had rejected by, a certain uppity historical quarterly so I can submit to another, less uppity historical quarterly.

And I MIGHT do some other productive things, finally, today, after several weekends of off-goofing and around-jacking.

Until 8 tonight, when Oklahoma State takes on Texas on Eddie Sutton Court in Gallagher-Iba Arena at OSU. Whereupon I will have the best seat in the house: my recliner. :-)

There. I have called mySELF out. Done made my to-do list public. Now, my latent Babtist guilt might kick in, and I'll Git-R Done!


Friday, March 04, 2005


OSU -- and Bird? -- on ESPNU

How cool! ESPNU -- a college sports channel -- debuts tonight at Oklahoma State University. Excellent! With a happenin' band and everything, at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Bird* is bouncin' all over and talking a mile a minute. The goings-on will be going on right across the street from her dorm.

She loves the college life, and this is just extra. And she has a knack for sidling up to cameras and getting on TV.

Bird was supposed to slip home today, then get back tomorrow in time for OSU-Texas basketball. Shoot, ol' ER told her to stay put.

ESPNU is a big deal, she thinks the band, Three Doors Down, is hot, and she does bleed orange, ya know (despite a recent flirting with the enemy, more on that later when my blood pressure goes down).

Cool that she will be there to bask in the new national spotlight of ESPNU!

* Bird has not been mentioned much lately. Newcomers: Bird, 19, is ER's Redheaded Redneck Stepchild, freshman at Oklahoma State University (from which the ER family holds four degrees.)

Thursday, March 03, 2005


Pi are round, cornbread are square!

Me and my fellow charter members of the Muldrow Grade School Fifth Grade Science Club would've just SWOONED, back in '75, at havin' this at our fingertips!

Just hit MORE and click on English, to get it off French, before you go nuts. :-)



Erudizzle Rednecka Gangsta Rap!

Thanks to Nick Toper for the link to the Gizoogle gangsta rap translation page! Go here to see a recent Erudite Redneck post translated. It even translates the sidebars and intro at the top, and lets you translate your own text and URLs.

Y'all should go and do likewise at yer own places. This is a major hoot.

Interesting that it can find no gangsta rap alternative for "Erudite Redneck" itself!

WARNING: Obscene language ahead, motha!


Wednesday, March 02, 2005


In defense of the corndog

Hoot, hoot, pant, pant, gasp. Go here to read the uncommon blogger Corndog's defense of the common corndog. Funniest thing you'll read today.


P.S. No offense, pard' -- but the drive-in in my hometown used to call 'em dippy dogs!


34/51 and counting

Incoming! Meme!

Bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.

Cool. Somebody should make one that genrates a map. That would be nifty. I should've underlined Arkansas 'cause I was born there, and I think that should count as "living" there! And I did underline Washington, D.C., because, while it was an internship, it was four months, I had a checking account there and paid bills there, although technically my residency was in Oklahoma. :-)


Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Minister of Redneck Erudition

Oh, boy-oh-boy-oh-boy! Pinko Feminist Hellcat has foolishly let ME into her Cabinet! Hell, it'll do us both some good.



690-word Erudite Redneck book review and commentary -- "Motherhood & Hollywood," by Patricia Heaton

By the Erudite Redneck

Once in a blue moon, ol’ ER strays from the hardback nonfiction history-politics-public affairs wagon train and stumbles headlong into the verdant meadows of touchy-feely soft-cover celebrity autobiography.

Lessee, I think it all started with Johnny Cash’s “Man in Black,” picked up at a Baptist church camp in the piney woods of Little Dixie, southeast Oklahoma. Ol’ Johnny’s witness for the Gospel and the frailties of human life just keeps rollin’ on.

Then, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which was a hit amongst the literate redneck set even before Tommy Lee Jones and Sissy Spacek did the Loretta Lynn story so right in the movie.

Hmmm, a younger ER read all about The Beatles. Read a bio on Dolly Parton back in the day. Read two or three Garth Brooks books.

And I probably know more about Reba McEntire that some of her kin ‘cause I read oodles about her in researching an article for the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, to be published in ought-7, I b’lieve, in conjunction with Oklahoma’s centennial.

In more recent days, ol’ ER, who will always see Cybill Shepherd as the young, skinny-dippin’ hottie she played in “The Last Picture Show,” read “Cybill,” her tell-some tale.

Which brings me to my most recent venture into grazin’ the easy-to-munch grass of celebrity bio: Patricia Heaton’s “Motherhood and Hollywood: How to Get a Job Like Mine” (New York: Villard, 2002).

Not really a bio. More of a book of essays on life, from her days in white-bread suburban Cleveland, Ohio, through her days as a struggling actress-waitress in New York City, to her eventual success as the mama on “Everybody Loves Raymond” in Los Angeles. (Her dad was a beloved sportswriter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which might be why she plays the role of a sportswriter’s wife so well on the show.)

The gal, herself, can write. No co-author is listed. Looks like the liberal arts degree she eked out at Ohio State University is serving her well.

She is clever, witty and wise, with the wisdom that surely accrues to any mother of four boys under 10 – but especially to any mother of four boys under 10 who is a successful actress in Hollywood, with all that such a balancing act implies.

She is Catholic-turned-Presbyterian and her faith is evident, but not in-your-face, which was refreshing. Seems like famous people are either nonbelievers or on holy ego trips masquerading as missionary journeys.

Heaton, 46, is a Christian. The chapter on her faith journey blends so well with the rest of the book precisely because she does not bring undue attention to that part of her overall trip through.

Heaton is a hoot. There is a smile, and something to think about, on every page.

Example, picked randomly: In a part called “Some Things That Having Money Doesn’t Change,” she lists: “ … 35. Running out of toilet paper. 36. Parent-teacher conferences. 37. Having to send out Christmas cards. 38. Soccer snacks. 39. Monkey balls. (Just threw that in there to see who’s paying attention.) 40. Getting old.”

Another random example:

“Things finally came to a head when, trying to feed on, change another’s diaper, and pull one off from around my neck, I yelled to Dave (husband), as he slumped in the lounger, to find John’s blanky. Without missing a beat (or getting out of his chair), he reached down, picked up the blanky, and threw it at me. That was it. My inner banshee was released and I went ape. …

“As I collapsed on the couch, trying to compose myself, the mail arrived with a copy of People magazine in it, the theme being ‘Hollywood’s Most Romantic Couples.’ And guess who had a centerfold Technicolor photo of themselves and their kidlings lounging peacefully and perfectly in the English countryside? Thaaat’s right.”

Nice. “Motherhood & Hollywood” isn’t the typical “popcorn”-type celeb book. It’s a little more substantial. Mac-and-cheese maybe.

If more of them were written this well, ol’ ER might stray from the hardback nonfiction history-politics-public affairs wagon train a little more often. Of course, it helped that there is a fine picture of the babe-elicious hottie on the cover. The book is on a bargain table near you.


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